Thursday, October 17, 2013

COMMENTARY: It's time for "Home of the Brave" to return at Arrowhead Stadium


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Last weekend, Arrowhead Stadium officially became the loudest outdoor sports venue in the world, with fans setting a Guinness World Book record during the team’s victory against the Oakland Raiders.

Arrowhead Stadium is truly one of the few professional sports stadiums that have a college atmosphere. Tailgating begins hours before the game kicks off. Tailgating continues for a few hours afterwards.

Calling Arrowhead Stadium the best NFL game-day environment is a well-deserved and well-earned compliment.

Well, except for one thing --- Chiefs fans using the wrong word to conclude the National Anthem.

If you’ve been to a game like I have, you know what I’m talking about. Instead of allowing the word “brave” to be sung at the end of the anthem, tens of thousands of Chiefs fans finish the anthem with a loud “CHIEFS” shout.

As the Chiefs’ franchise has been resurrected almost overnight, it’s time for Chiefs fans to correct this and become the perfect game-day environment.

(And before I continue, this column is not meant to question anyone’s patriotism. I’ve never met a Chiefs fan that’s unpatriotic or hates America. As a Libertarian who’s critical of both major parties, I’ve been called a traitor a few times by conservatives and liberals in the past. It’s not a fun experience. The word “traitor” should be reserved for someone who’s actually betrayed his or her country.)

The word “brave” in the National Anthem honors those who have sacrificed their limbs and lives in order for all of us to attend sports games.

There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your football team, but a football team didn’t risk their lives in the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first two important battles in American history.

A football team wasn’t responsible for the victory in Saratoga, the battle that’s regarded as a turning point in the Revolutionary War.

A football team wasn’t responsible for winning Gettysburg, the most important battle of the war that kept the union preserved.

Nor did a football team win the crucial battles of World War II, especially the battles of Midway, Normandy, Iwo Jima or the Battle of the Bulge.

A football team also didn’t fight wars in World War I, Korea, Vietnam or The Persian Gulf War, either. While those wars may not be as glamorous as World War II in history, the same American troops who fought in those wars made the same sacrifice as those who stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from Adolf Hitler.

Of course, the word “brave” should resonate even more after September 11, 2001.

Whether it’s the military who fought in Afghanistan or Iraq, the special forces unit that killed Osama bin Laden or the emergency responders who ran into the World Trade Center to rescue individuals, honoring the military and first responders is as important today as it's ever been.

The "home of the Chiefs" deal is disrespectful to this country, our country’s history and those serving our country as members of the military or the first responders living in our community.

If you agree with me, I’d like to encourage you to “like” a Facebook page dedicated to this topic. It can be visited here.